Success, Dale And Micheal As Pathetic Metaphors

By Nnedinso Ogaziechi February 13, 2020

Success, Dale And Micheal As Pathetic Metaphors

The management of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Ondo state recently gave scholarship to a seven year old primary school pupil who was captured in pictures using the light provided by the ATM machines to do her homework by the bank’s customer who went to make some withdrawal at the ATM. Barely a year ago, little seven year old Success in Delta state took the nation by storm as she defiantly insisted on being flogged severally rather than being sent home due to some levies her poor parents could ill afford at the time.

Success, true to her name became an instant sensation as scholarships and donations came flooding her family house. She had become a sensation because her brilliance and hunger for education shone through in that less than ten minute viral video by a mere passer-by. Today, fees can no longer be her problem as many people had come to her aide.
However, Success was called out from class along with about nine other pupils. They were in the same pathetic situation. Their parents could not afford the levies. But media blitz and razzmatazz attracts and so those who probably wanted a piece of her fame and those genuinely in admiration of her courage and determination to get an education moved to help.

As a Success was singled out, the dilapidated school building with collapsing roofs and broken doors and windows were brought to the fore. In the normal Nigerian fashion, there were talks about the school being renovated and equipped and all but this is not the focus of this piece today.

A few days ago, Micheal, an eighteen year old Seminarian abducted by bandits and killed was buried in his dioceses. His poor grandmother who had the heart-breaking double tragedy of burying a child and a grandchild stood helpless as her grandchild was lowered into the grave. She had no choice in the tragedies she faced, she has no court to go seek redress, she will, like thousands around Nigeria just raise her hands in fatalistic despair and in the Nigerian parlance ‘leave everything in God’s hands’.

Bishop Mathew Kukah of the Sokoto Dioceses gave one of the most moving dirges at his grave side. Despite his righteous indignation, he preached peace and tolerance and understanding in a country so soaked in the blood of the innocent and vulnerable while our politicians strut the land in their egoistic negligence.

These three kids and their tragic stories represent the face of a country. They are not in any way isolated from the plethora of cases similar or worse than theirs. Bottom line, the Nigerian state has failed her children. The parents of little Dele must equally be blamed for shirking their responsibility of protecting her. She could have been kidnapped or killed at the ATM stand that night. If there were state sanctions on poor parenting, they might have been more careful. The parents and the state had failed to protect Dele. How is it that she has to rely on ATM light to do her homework? These young girls ought to be nurtured to become productive citizens in a tomorrow that must come.

Success and Dele are two young girls who as young as they are are showing extreme hunger for education. Ideally, kids dread being flogged, but Success chose to embrace the pain of capital punishment rather than being chased out of school for no fault of hers. Parents and the state are supposed to make sure children get quality education. It took the incident for the Delta state government to ‘see’ the dilapidated school buildings that the poor girl attended with other children. In the hypocrisy of the Nigerian politicians, there has been some puerile buck-passing. But we all know there is no deodorizing the stench in the education sector nationally.

Little Dele, the girl that was forced to endanger her life doing her homework with the light from the ATM is growing up disappointed by adults that ought to plan for her. Her picture is on the internet, the world can see how caring our governments at all levels are. The management of FCMB must be applauded for taking up her case in a country where it does seem banks are the modern shylocks only interested in making money off customers.

Micheal the Seminarian murdered for his faith paints a gory picture on his symbolic white seminarian clothing for all to see the blood on his clothes as metaphor for all those that have been senselessly slaughtered by bandits in the past years. His innocent and demure mien is a graphic representation of all the innocent victims of senseless socio-religious banditry that has mowed many helpless victims down in a country that neither counts the living, the maimed nor the dead. These three recent symbols of the Nigerian tragedies must stand tall in our memories of how much damage is being done to our children. For Micheal, he was denied a chance to grow but Success and Dele are seemingly rescued but who takes care of the other multiple millions? Micheal has a resting place and was buried, millions do not have that luxury, and their dignity is denied in life as in death. May they find peace. When will our children be nurtured to grow?